Whether it’s a page for your website, a new brochure, a mailer, an advert – whatever it is – how do you set about writing content and decide what to put in it?
Here are 10 questions to help you decide what that content should be.
1. Who are you talking to?
First thing to do is to decide who you are talking to. Who is your communication aimed at? That will determine all of the answers that follow.
You might be talking to prospects, customers, suppliers, colleagues, investors, the public, government, the press – all have different interests and will probably be motivated by different triggers. You need to know what those triggers are so you can target your communications effectively…
2. Why would they look at your content?
We’re all busy people – with lots of things competing for our time – you need to let people know quickly why they should take in your content. What’s in it for them? What will they know after they read it that they didn’t know before?
3. What solution are you offering?
A good way to achieve that is to think what problem your product, service or proposition is solving – or what need is it meeting? What desire is it satisfying?
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think what they are looking for – or even what should they be looking for. Remember that people don’t always know they have a problem that needs solving – they may think it’s just something they have to live with.
4. How will you solve their problem?
Make sure you are clear how your offering solves their problem – what it does for them. Be careful though – it’s easy to get caught up in explaining the clever way your product or service does what it does, and lose track of how it benefits the client.
Remember – it isn’t about your product – it’s about the client. Like most customers I don’t really care about how it does it – just what it does for me.
5. How much does your customer need to know?
Don’t over share. Remember that you know your offering inside out. You understand how your new widget increases speed and reliability – but does the customer need all that detail
Sometimes they will – if you need to back up your performance claims and show how it’s possible, or if the way it works is a big part of the benefit – but mainly you need to focus on what it does – not how.
6. How do you want them to feel?
Think before and after. Before they buy you want to trigger them to feel how the problem makes them feel – that might be annoyed, bored, scared, worried or just plain stressed. Remind them how that feels – then show them how much better they will feel with your offering…
7. What do they gain?
OK – so your product is less expensive and saves me time – what does that mean for me? It means I have more disposable income and get home earlier at night. It means I can put more time into marketing and I have more budget to follow that through. It means I don’t have to spend so much time doing something I hate, it means…
You get the picture – whatever it is – make them feel the benefit.
8. Call to action – What do you want them to do?
When they’ve finished looking, what do you want them to do? Visit your website? Share it with friends? Buy online? Fill out a form? Arrange a meeting? Pick up the phone?
Whatever it is, make it easy for them with a freephone number, a hyperlink, a twitter feed – but above all, make it clear so they know what to do next – while they are interested.
9. Is there a simpler way to say it?
It’s always worth asking yourself if there is a shorter, simpler, clearer way to say the same thing – remember – less is more.
Go over your content and try to cut out words. If you can say something in 100 words, you will usually increase its impact by saying it in 70…
10. Will they actually look at your content?
If you address each of these points it will help you write consistent and relevant content – but don’t forget those are just words. Unless the right person reads them – you’re wasting your time.
Part of that is putting your content in the right place so the right people see it – but the real trick is making them want to look. You need to get their attention.
That can be down to a great headline, a striking image, a clever concept, humour, desire – or just a clear, relevant and direct message from a brand they feel they can trust.
Whatever it is you need to make the most of your communication – and (to bring this round to my call to action) that’s where Hullabaloo can help.
Whether you need help to plan and write your content – or just some creative oomph to get it noticed, just give us a call and let’s get this thing moving!Back to the Blog